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Holding Nations Accountable For Aggressive Actions

2045 words - 8 pages

The United Nations’ Security Council whose five members hold veto power defines aggression. If any of these members chooses to not recognize an aggressor, then the UN is powerless to proceed against said aggressor. Because these states primary interests are not always in line with the best interests of the global community, aggression is likely to be defined in terms of political benefits to countries. States may choose not to enter into a conflict because of the strain it will put upon its military capabilities, which would lead to the weakening of the state’s defenses. The military plays a large role in the economy of many nations. Canada for example, produces a great deal of weapons but sells the majority to other nations. Through this, Canada benefits economically from war as long as it does not have to enter into conflict itself. The UN tries to act as a multilateral force but is influenced significantly by the United States. The United States provides the majority of the United Nations’ funding. If the United States does not allow for a state to be defined as an aggressor, it is nearly impossible for the UN to take action. The United States can allow for a state to designate an aggressor to appease political pressures, but then withhold funding, preventing the UN from taking larger steps to repel or punish aggressors. Political pressures play the greatest role in influencing states on how to define aggression because no matter how large a state, it cannot maintain power without the political support of other states and the states people. However, the U.S. does its best to get away without approval from the other members of the Security Council. When states are dealing with political issues, they must tread lightly because their power comes through the consent of others. The forces that affect political pressures can be arranged into four main categories: bureaucratic, economic, militaristic, and public opinion. Because collective security against aggression depends on states’ willingness to bear the cost of fighting wars to repel and punish aggressors, what constitutes aggression will always be defined politically rather than according to humanitarian or other standards.
The UN Security Council is responsible for determining if a state has become an aggressor or not. It does this via the UN charter and by listening to the general assembly. The UN has five permanent members who have veto power over any decisions made by the UN. The five members include the winners of the Second World War: China, France, the United Stated, the United Kingdom, and Russia. These five members, holding their veto power, are the greatest stumbling block that the UN has in its effort to be a multilateral force for peace. The incredible power wielded by these five members makes it impossible for the UN to challenge aggressive actions taken by these states. This particularly includes the United States, who has used its political influence in the...

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